Online giant Google seems to roll out updates to its algorithms every other day in an effort to establish absolute relevancy of search results and an improved user experience.
The penguin might be an adorable-looking creature, but when Google Penguin was announced on April 24, 2012, it proved a nightmare for SEO experts and website owners alike. The rankings of countless websites fell like soldiers on a World War I battlefield.
According to various sources, the reason for the Penguin update was the identification of websites that were using black hat SEO techniques such as cloaking, link schemes, keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and so on.
Much has been said and done about post-Penguin link-building. Here are five foolproof tips for improving your rankings in a Post-Penguin world.
1. Social Spells Success
We are living in the social media age, and link-building and social media have become interconnected.
Whenever you post fresh content on your blog or website, make sure you share it on all of your social media pages. Doing so should be a reflex.
Many blogs, for example, have failed badly despite regular posts. Why? Because they were not sharing those posts over Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn. What is the point of boasting about your vast numbers of fans and followers if you are not showing them your content?
Social sharing helps you spread your content virally, beyond your fan base, and voila! You get likes, +1's, retweets... What's there to lose? Zilch!
2. Inner-Page Linking
Although the homepage is arguably the most important page of any website, Google is going to raise an eyebrow if it finds all your backlinks pointing to your homepage—a mistake that SEO practitioners and website owners often make.
Internal linking is very important, because that is where the real content is on your website. It makes no sense to Googlebot that links aren't pointing to the content on the inner pages of the website, where articles, posts, videos, and guides are available.
Take time to improve your website's link structure and make sure that the right keywords are directing the users to the right internal pages of your website.
3. Diversity of Anchor Texts
It is time you get a break from some traditional SEO practices because another element Google Penguin addresses is on-site and off-site over-optimization.
Imagine how annoyed Google can get when it feels that you are forcing it to rank you for a specific keyword such as "cheap cars for sale." Google will find it highly suspicious that all of your link partners are using the exact key phrase to link to you, which not only happens to be pasted over your title bar but homepage as well.
If people choose to link to you naturally, they would likely use different anchor texts to do so. So ensure diversity of anchor texts. Doing so will eventually get the search-results wheels rolling in the right direction—toward the top. Diversity is the key.
4. Quality Over Quantity
Google is going to penalize you if it finds that you have a large number of backlinks from sites that are untrustworthy. This is imperative: One link from a high-quality blog is better than 30 from unreliable sources.
Go for quality. Even if that means a small number of links, they will work in your favor. You don't want to go to sleep every night wondering whether you are next on Penguin's hit list.
5. Charm With Link-Worthy Content
Last but not least, you must stay focused on producing content that others find link-worthy. Stuff that fails to engage readers is not going to get you anywhere, because a bad user experience is synonymous with low Google rankings. Give your readers something that encourages them to stay with you and come back again.
Content is, and will always be, king.
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With the tips above, you will be able to take your website's link-building in the right direction in a post-Penguin online world. Although the rules of the game have changed, link-building is not rocket science. But, when done correctly, it can work wonders for you.